A woman went on a revenge spree, and set her boyfriend's ex-wife's house on fire, while her teen son was inside, reportedly because the ex-wife wouldn't sign the divorce papers. Chloe Shotton, 23, was spotted on CCTV whilst trying to push a burning rag through the mailbox of Leanne Stildolph's house in North Shields in a horrifying arson attack. The fire, if not controlled in time, could've killed those inside.
Leanne Stildolph was present in the house with her 17-year-old son, her friend, and her daughter when the fire started. Emergency crews rushed to the scene but the fire was extinguished prior to their arrival. During the hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw noted that Leanne woke up at 4:55 am by the sound of her fire alarm only to find the porch full of smoke with the smell of burning.
Chloe Shotton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years of jail term after admitting arson with intent to endanger life on Wednesday, December 22. She was also slapped with a lifetime restraining order preventing her to get in contact with the victim.
'Did the people die?'
Prosecutor Wardlaw further noted that Shotton was in police custody in connection with alleged offenses at the time. "Whilst in police custody she [Chloe Shotton] said 'What happened to that house? Did it burn down? Did the people die?'" Wardlow said. The prosecutor stated that the police checked the security cameras after the attempted arson to find Shotton attempting to push a letter, that had been ignited through the mailbox inside Leanne's house. After being identified in the CCTV, Shotton was arrested within 11 minutes of the incident, was charged on the same day, and remanded in custody.
In the victim impact statement, Leanne Stildolph noted that Chole was the current partner of his estranged husband of 22 years. "Since 2019 I have reported a number of incidents against Chloe. The incident has had an impact not only on those of the household but also elderly neighbors," she wrote. It was suggested during the hearing that the motive behind the attack was inspired by revenge as the victim was taking a long time in signing the divorce papers.
Chloe Shotton has a long rap sheet
Shotton, of Backworth, has 39 convictions to her name for 109 offenses. At the time of the aforementioned arson, she was subject to a suspended prison sentence for an offense of battery, the court heard. "The only reason I have a big record is because I had an obsession with the police and I didn't get diagnosed with autism until I was 19," Shotton said after the sentencing. She further said that she didn't realize she wanted attention but she has learned her lesson now.